- AMC Networks published a free virtual reality application that lets "The Walking Dead" fans immerse themselves in the hit series, which premieres its eighth season on Oct. 22. The app has two computer-generated experiences: "Devoured," which lets viewers experience getting eaten by zombies, and "Herd," which gives users the perspective of walking as a zombie in an undead mob, Variety reported.
- The AMC VR app will include an extended 360-degree bonus scene from the season eight premiere after Sunday night's airing as well as behind-the-scenes videos and other AMC trailers.
- The free app is available for iOS and Android and Oculus Gear VR and Google Daydream headsets.
"The Walking Dead" offers an example of the many different ways that AR can be leveraged by a brand and how well the fantasy genre matches up with AR technology.
In September, AMC partnered with PepsiCo soda brand Mountain Dew to promote the upcoming season of "The Walking Dead" with its own AR mobile app. "The Walking Dead Encounter" lets fans see zombies in real-world environments and share the interactions on social media. AMC and Next Games also released a location-based AR game called "The Walking Dead: Our World" that let fans battle hordes of virtual zombies with a choice of weapons.
AMC is using its new VR app to cross-promote other shows with immersive content created for the martial-arts series "Into the Badlands." In addition, AMC last summer introduced a commercial-free streaming subscription tier for $5 a month that's available through Comcast. Meanwhile, Skybound Entertainment, which created the "Walking Dead" comics series that is the basis for the TV show, is developing several "Walking Dead" VR games with the first to be released next year.
Overall, AMC has been very active about extending "The Walking Dead" brand into spinoff shows and other media platforms such as VR experiences, videogames, mobile games and augmented reality (AR) apps. Its new app provides another way for the show to engage with fans and spur excitement ahead of the eighth season's upcoming premiere. If fans become hooked on the virtual experiences, they might stick around after the show's newest season concludes as well.
"The Walking Dead" has been one of most popular TV series over the past several years, including being ranked No. 1 among viewers 18 to 49 since 2012. AMC's decision to roll out its own VR experience is perhaps driven by a potentially lucrative bet that loyal fans of the show are eager to get more products and roleplay as "Walking Dead" characters.